Snow Levels in Spring!

May 9, 2015
Doublehead from the East Pasture Path

I did a little hike this past weekend which wasn’t the most exciting but did show really really well the snow levels at least of the moment!  East Pasture Loop on the back side of Black Mtn. in Jackson turns out doesn’t even really exist.  I had a trail on a map.  I went and hiked it.  I checked the  AMC White Mountain Guide after the fact and it is neither listed nor described!  O well!  It was a beautiful day, I appreciated the exercise and I appreciated being able to get out finally in spring like conditions!  Anybody with me on that one?!!!

The Lower Section is fully dry.

So I began in Jackson at around 1500 feet of elevation.  Probably my first mile was on an old road, perfectly dry, snow free and mud free.  Around 2000 I started encountering patchy snow and deep mud.  And then around 2500 feet I found snow, 1-3 feet deep, hard in some places and soft in others.

At this point the trees were closer in around the trail as well, keeping the sun from penetrating as far as it otherwise might have!  There it is in a nutshell…if you’re heading out right now, depending on how far north you are coming and how high in elevation you are climbing, you might find dry hard ground, deep mud or deeper snow!  So you might be able to travel with regular hiking boots, or mud boots or snowshoes!  Microspikes would not have helped me on this trail although I am fairly sure there are others on which they might!

Central section…Patchy Snow and Pretty Deep Mud

My recommendation…for the time being, put all gear in your trunks and make your final decision on what to wear at the trail head!  As it was, I did not have snowshoes and I did a fair amount of post holing…doable but not the most comfortable.


Would I bring the snowshoes for the .5m next time?  I don’t even know, but these are the decisions you have to make yourself right now!  Good luck!

And at the top we had 1-3 feet of soft snow!

Wildcat Ski Area has finally closed for the season after a very good run this year!  Tuckerman Ravine of course is still going strong and people are skiing well!  The avalanche danger has been down but the seasonal hazards of crevasses and ice falls are increasing!
BE ABSOLUTELY SURE TO READ THE AVALANCHE REPORT IN DETAIL BEFORE YOU GO!!!  Other than that, this is the time to come if you want to get one more back country run in for this year!  I think we have at least a few weeks left before this early heat takes it away!

Might this be the East Pasture?







From skiing safety to lodging, check out our comprehensive resource for properly preparing for your trip to Tuckerman Ravine

Please feel free to call us or contact us at any time for our personal out the window perspective on what’s going on up here in the Whites!  And be sure to call our reservations department (6034662727) and book yourself into either the Joe Dodge Lodge or the Highland Center to get up here for a few days (Reservations open Monday through Saturday 9am to 5pm)!  Our back country huts are also open now on caretaker basis and some early spring get aways are just waiting for you!

For any general questions, conditions information, or trail advice
Please feel free to contact us here at the Pinkham Notch Visitor Center front desk. We are available by phone at (603)466-2721 every day from 6:30 AM to 10:00 PM or by email at

May all your outdoor adventures be glorious!
Joyce S
Visitor Service Supervisor
Pinkham Notch Visitor Center
(603) 466-8116

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